Report on Doing Business in Norway
This report provides all the information necessary for anyone intending to conduct business with the Norwegians. The information is based on interviews and observations.
Norwegians are very distinctive looking people. They are all tall, slim, blond and athletic. They all have very blue eyes and pale skin. It is really easy to spot a Norwegian abroad since s/he always carries a backpack wherever s/he goes.
Democratic Decision Making Process
Norwegians believe wholeheartedly in democracy and there is no difference between salaries no matter which position a person occupies in a company. All decisions are referred to the ...view middle of the document...
Punctuality applies to working hours as well. It is the goal of most Norwegians to work as few hours as possible in order to get off to the mountains, away from people, and to engage in sports like skiing or hiking.
They work hard in the office, but they jealously guard their private time. Norwegians leave punctually from the office and never take work home unless it is vitally necessary. If there is a real emergency, they will work overtime. But they would much rather not.
Making Small Talk
If you ever get the chance to make small talk with your Norwegian business associate, you should count yourself lucky. If you have already discussed business and are relaxing over coffee, you will find that a Norwegian’s range of conversation subjects is limited to outdoor life and sports; two activities they love and thrive on. Do not inquire about their family - how many children they have, what their husband or wife does, etc. - they will think you are being especially nosey. Just mention the Winter Olympics, football, or hiking and they loosen up in no time.
You will find that although all Norwegians understand everything you say in English, you should be aware that they consistently misunderstand the implications of what you are trying to say if you speak indirectly. The problem is that they will never tell you that they have not understood all the details.
Norwegians are really stubborn negotiators: “This is our price and that’s it”. They will never budge on a price or offer a quantity discount. Negotiating with Norwegians is either in black or white. This makes some business people think that Norwegians are tough negotiators. Whereas some businessmen from many other cultures start a negotiation cautiously, Norwegians lay their cards on the table immediately.
A Fishbowl Mentality
Norwegians are extremely naïve and imagine that what they know is best. The idea that “Norway is best” is part of Norwegian nationalism. Norwegians are proud of their country and their achievements and feel that the world would be a better place if it were simply a larger edition of Norway.
We hope that this information is useful to you, and we wish you every success on your business trip to Norway. If you need any further advice, do not hesitate to let us know.
Hopefully you realized that this report on the Norwegian business culture included quite a few stereotypical views.
Stereotypes result when you present generalizations as facts.